3 days / 3 nights
This tour is perfect if you have some days between your international flight and the flight to Galapagos. You will get to know 3 incredible sites, such as the historical center of Quito (UNESCO heritage site), the “Middle of the World” site with the Equator line and the National Park Cotopaxi.
Arrival to Quito, where you will be meet at the airport by our local Spanish-speaking driver and transferred to your hotel located in the city (around 45 min ride).
Quito has an altitude of around 9,350 feet, (2,850 m). Someone flying to Quito from sea level experiences an elevation changes of nearly two miles (3 km) in a matter of hours. Abrupt changes in elevation such as this sometimes have ill effects. In the event that you do experi-ence symptoms of altitude sickness, in most cases, they can be remedied by drinking lots of water, getting rest, avoid cigarettes and alcohol and eat light. The coca tea can help also.
Meals included: X
Transfer with a private chauffeur
Pick up at the hotel. This morning we will visit Quito Old Town. Quito has one if not the best-preserved colonial town of South America. Wander in the narrow streets listening to your guides explanations. Visit the best churches, admire the architecture and every detail in each building and stop at a small craft chocolate shop where you will learn about Ecuadorian fine chocolate. It comes from a very rare brand of cocoa “cacao national”, which represents only 5% of the world cocoa production and results in one of the best chocolate on earth. It has won numerous prizes. Later we will visit one of the most beautiful colonial streets where you will appreciate the art preserved in the time using techniques of the famous “Escuela Quiteña” to inspire you to make your own craft in a workshop.
We hop now to the 18th century where a French group of scientists, is sent by the French Royal Academy of Science to Ecuador (at the time still Peru) to try to find the Equator line. The site you will visit is where they found the line at this time, and 200 years later a monument was built to remember this important time of the history of the country. When the middle of the world was then measured with modern instruments, it was found that they were wrong by only 240 meters. Take a picture near the famous monument and then visit of Intiñan Museum where you will participate in several experiences that will show you that yes, you are indeed right on the Equator line. Back to the hotel in the late afternoon.
Tour with a private guide and vehicle
Meals included this day: breakfast
Cotopaxi is one of the most amazing places in the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Its perfect shape as snow cone that rises to 5,897 (19347 ft) meters makes him unique in the world.
While you visit the National Park, you could see wild horses, llamas, and many species of birds combined with the stunning landscape surrounded by endemic vegetation that changes while you head up to the parking lot. After this drive, you have the chance to hike up to the refuge (300 meters up) which is located at 4,810m (15780 ft).
Depending on weather conditions, it´s possible to continue to the glaciers at 5000m (16404 ft). You will reach high altitude during this day, so we recommend you to be prepared with warm clothes, an adequate acclimatization and bring enough water with you.
Tour with a private tour with a guide
Meals included this day: breakfast
On the next morning, only breakfast included. Please let us know if you need additional services such as transfers, or more activities.
There are 3 categories of hotels:
** we use these below or similar according to availability at the moment of booking. We will always reconfirm hotel names before your final booking
** We always offer a modern or more typical hotel, let us know your preference!
** In the modern Quito you are closer to restaurants and bars, it is easier to move around. In the old town it is very busy in the day light but empty in the night, so usually in the evening you cannot really walk around